But Spotify is nearly identical to current streaming offerings – with main competitor Apple Music outperforming in several key areas.
Spotify offers a free option, and by paying R59.99 per month you'll lose the occasional ad and be able to download music.
Apple Music costs R59.99, Google Play R 59.99 and Deezer R59.99.
In three important aspects, Apple Music is better than Spotify.
Apple Music's has better sound quality.
Spotify stores music on larger compressed MP3 files which results in a slightly worse audio experience compared to Apple Music's use of 256Kbps ACC. The difference should not be noticeable in day to day listening – except for data. Spotify admitted that it would by default be decreasing streaming speeds to 24kbps on South African networks to consume less data. This will inevitably result in lower sound quality, which could become noticable.
Apple has more music available for our listening pleasure.
At its official launch in South Africa on Tuesday, Spotify boasted about a 35 million song catalogue. This is roughly 20% smaller than Apple Music's 45 million song list – which also includes the option to buy music from the much larger iTunes store.
Apple Music also has a dictated 24-hour radio station curated by the world's best DJ's and songwriters. It's a refreshing approach to include human opinion in a world that is more than a little obsessed with algorithms.
You can test Apple Music for 3 months for free.
Apple Music gives you a full quarter of a year to make up your mind about it – while Spotify forces you to start paying after the first month.
(Spotify has a free version, but excludes major functionality such as downloading music.)
Bonus reason: Apple Music works with the Apple watch.
The Apple Watch is not a common accessory, but if you have one, Spotify is useless; it lacks an Apple Watch app. Apple Music, of course, seamlessly syncs with your Apple Watch – which means listening to music with wireless earphones on promenade jogs without having to drag your iPhone along.
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